Silver Ferns wilt under Diamonds pressure

The Silver Ferns have wilted as Australia piled on the pressure in the fourth Constellation Cup Test, the Diamonds running riot in rounding off a series whitewash with a thumping 58-42 win in Sydney.

Australia have increased their winning margin with every match of the four-Test series, building from a three-goal win in Auckland nine days ago to eight goals in Christchurch last Sunday and 12 in Adelaide three days ago.

Yet things had looked reasonably bright early on for the Ferns.

Up 5-0 after three minutes, they led 13-12 after 15 minutes but were comprehensively outplayed over the next three quarters, trailing 26-22 at half-time and 40-31 at the three-quarter mark.

The New Zealanders managed to generate a reasonable supply of turnover ball, but struggled with their through-court links in the face of a strong Australian defensive effort.

Coach Janine Southby said her team hadn't been able to lift when the pressure went on.

"Our start was really strong but when the intensity lifted, we didn't, and that's a big work for us," she said afterwards.

"I think we just lost the connections - it's something we've identified really early on in the piece, and we've been working hard on.

"We've got a lot of work to do and we're really aware of that, but I don't want to take away from the fact that the Australians played really well."

Southby said it had been pleasing to see improvement in the Silver Ferns' defensive gains during the series, but they hadn't been able to consistently convert those into points on the board.

"In the early part (of the series) we weren't getting enough gains, and now we've got the gains we're just not treasuring possession.

"I think we all need to go and take a really hard look at ourselves - we've got a lot of work to do over the next couple of months."